Andrej Grmovšek on free ascent
of Camilotto-Pellesier on Cima Grande
ClimbandMore: Two years ago you did Akut and last year the Couzy Route on Cima Ovest. This year you had another goal on the Tre Cime. What do you like about climbing in this region?
Andrej Grmovšek: The Tre Cime are the nearest Dolomite walls to my home town, Maribor, and they also offer very hard, overhanging free climbing on small edges, which I like. North walls contain many, many hard routes, once the hardest aid and today the hardest free routes of the Alps, and on those walls the history of rock wall climbing was written in the last century. So the Tre Cime are special, but they are also hard - a lot of loose and damp rock, cold temperatures…
Camilotto-Pellesier Route was one of the very controversial routes of "Direttissima Era" in the Dolomites. The first ascentionists left an enormous number of bolts and pitons on the wall. On most of the routes on the Tre Cime, exept modern ones, you find a lot of old iron. But you called the route "via ferrata", so I guess you found Camilotto to be more "iron" than the routes in the Lavaredo you'd done before. Is that right?
On Camilotto there is a bolt every 1,5 m and the route runs straight up. No other route on the Tre Cime has so many bolts. But when climbing the route free, you need to find weaknesses of the wall and traverse left and right from a bolt leader and so skip a lot of bolts.
I guess most of the bolts are completely useless for free climbing belaying - they wouldn't hold any fall…
The bolts are almost 30 years old Cassin's ones but they sometimes hold impressively well.
How would you compare the seriousness of Camilotto and the Couzy Route? It would also be interesting if you could compare these two routes to some modern ones like Phantom Der Zinne.
On both Camilotto and Couzy there is a lot of iron, but the stuff on Couzy is much more archaic and the rock on some pitches is unbelievably loose and rotten. Phantom has a lot of long runouts, but pitons and bolts are in good shape. Also the difficulty of climbing on Phantom is lower but it is probably still the most serious.